There always seems to be controversy about scoring in the Olympics in at least two events. In the Summer Games, it’s usually gymnastics; in the Winter Games, it’s figure skating. Rather than a true competition, these events are judged and scored by an independent panel. Almost all of the other events have a clear winner either by elapsed time, head-to-head competition, distance, etc.. There are usually no disagreements with the latter events.The victory may be by just an eyelash, but there’s a competitive winner.

Not so with figure skating and gymnastics. These events are wonderful exhibitions by superbly trained, coached, conditioned and skilled athletes. However, just as beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so is the differing interpretation of each judge on each panel. The athletes are subject to the whims, expectations and prejudices of a small group of fallible observers, each watching the same performance but from different and varying perspectives. At times, this allows for final scores that, to other observers, seem out of balance or questionable.

This is not sour grapes. I have no stake in any of this and while I pull for our American athletes to do well. I enjoy watching all the participants and competitions.

Do I believe that figure skating and gymnastics should be eliminated from the Olympics? No, I do not. They are both beautiful and special in their own right.

— Steve Bass, Bakersfield